3-Ingredient Slow Cooker Kalua Pig

Slow Cooker Kalua Pig: A Flavorful 3-Ingredient Recipe

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In the realm of slow-cooking, few dishes offer the tantalizing aroma and rich flavor quite like Kalua Pig. This traditional Hawaiian dish, made with just three simple ingredients, showcases the magic of slow cooking. Whether you’re hosting a luau or simply craving a taste of the islands, this recipe is sure to impress. With minimal effort and maximum flavor, let’s dive into how to make this mouthwatering delicacy.

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  • 5 pounds of boneless pork shoulder
  • 1 tablespoon of Alaea sea salt (Hawaiian Red Salt)
  • 1 tablespoon of liquid smoke


  1. Prep the Pork Shoulder: Begin by patting the pork shoulder dry with paper towels. This helps to ensure a better sear and flavor absorption later on.
  2. Season the Pork: Rub the Alaea sea salt evenly over the surface of the pork shoulder. Alaea salt, with its distinctive red hue, is traditionally used in Hawaiian cuisine for its unique flavor and mineral-rich profile.
  3. Add Liquid Smoke: Drizzle the liquid smoke over the seasoned pork. This ingredient adds a smoky essence reminiscent of traditional Kalua Pig, even if you’re preparing it indoors.
  4. Place in the Slow Cooker: Transfer the seasoned pork shoulder to the slow cooker, ensuring it sits evenly at the bottom.
  5. Set and Forget: Cover the slow cooker and set it to low heat. Allow the pork to cook slowly for 8-10 hours, or until it’s tender and easily shreds with a fork.
  6. Shred and Serve: Once the pork is cooked to perfection, use two forks to shred it directly in the slow cooker. Mix the shredded pork with its juices to enhance flavor.
  7. Enjoy: Serve the succulent Kalua Pig hot, accompanied by your favorite sides such as steamed rice, macaroni salad, or cabbage.

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Enhance Flavor: For an extra layer of flavor, consider adding minced garlic or sliced onions to the slow cooker before cooking.
  • Adjust Salt: Depending on your preference, you can adjust the amount of salt used. Be cautious not to oversalt, as the pork will absorb flavors during the cooking process.
  • Crispy Texture: For a crispy exterior, transfer the shredded pork to a baking sheet and broil it for a few minutes before serving.
  • Sweet and Spicy: Add a touch of sweetness with a sprinkle of brown sugar or a drizzle of pineapple juice. For a kick of heat, incorporate crushed red pepper flakes or diced jalapeños.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

  • Keto Option: Skip the liquid smoke if it contains added sugars and ensure the Alaea sea salt is carb-free. Serve the Kalua Pig with keto-friendly sides such as cauliflower rice or sautéed greens.
  • Low-Carb Variation: Opt for a sugar-free liquid smoke and monitor the salt content to fit your dietary preferences. Pair the dish with low-carb accompaniments like zucchini noodles or a refreshing cucumber salad.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use a different cut of pork for this recipe? A: While boneless pork shoulder is traditional for Kalua Pig, you can also use pork butt or picnic shoulder with similar results. Just ensure the cut has a good balance of fat for optimal flavor and tenderness.

Q: Is Alaea sea salt necessary, or can I use regular salt? A: Alaea sea salt contributes to the distinctive flavor and color of traditional Kalua Pig. However, if you can’t find it, you can substitute with kosher salt or another coarse salt.

Q: Can I cook this recipe on high heat for a shorter time? A: Slow cooking on low heat allows the flavors to develop fully and ensures the pork becomes tender and juicy. While you can cook it on high heat for a shorter duration, the results may not be as flavorful or tender.

healty meal, low carbs meals, keto meal

In conclusion, this 3-Ingredient Slow Cooker Kalua Pig recipe exemplifies the beauty of simplicity and the power of slow cooking. With just a handful of ingredients, you can transport your taste buds to the shores of Hawaii with every bite. Whether you’re following a keto lifestyle, seeking a low-carb option, or simply craving a hearty and delicious meal, this recipe has you covered. So, fire up your slow cooker, and let the magic of Kalua Pig unfold in your kitchen. Aloha and bon appétit!

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